Not too shabby for end-of-the-week leftovers. Rice sprinkled with pork soboro (spiced ground meat) is the bottom layer of the rice pot. Clockwise is fish dumplings, green beans, stuffed celery, beets, broccoli. Center is grilled squash, and garnished with cucumber pickle, carrots and fukujinzuke for a red accent.

There was also a top layer to the rice pot of cantaloupe chunks. The other bento is this week’s snack of choice, brie, crackers and grapes.

A weekend cooking binge provided much of this bento. From bottom - rice with teriyaki pork - set aside to marinate last night while the rest of the pork became carnitas.Vegetables - tomatoes, broccoli, grilled squash, cucumber pickle.Poached fish balls with teriyaki glaze and garnished with carrot. I improvised the recipe. In a food processor, finely chop small amounts of garlic, ginger and scallion (I also added a bit of carrot, red pepper and sauteed mushrooms for color and flavor.) Put in about a pound of white fish fillets - I used basa - and pulse to a coarse grind. Pulse in about 3T of flour and 1T of cornstarch. Drop by spoonfuls into water or broth at a very light boil, cook about 5-10 minutes. Before serving, I glazed them with soy sauce and mirin.
The top layer is dessert - crackers, brie and grapes.

A weekend cooking binge provided much of this bento. From bottom - rice with teriyaki pork - set aside to marinate last night while the rest of the pork became carnitas.
Vegetables - tomatoes, broccoli, grilled squash, cucumber pickle.
Poached fish balls with teriyaki glaze and garnished with carrot. I improvised the recipe. In a food processor, finely chop small amounts of garlic, ginger and scallion (I also added a bit of carrot, red pepper and sauteed mushrooms for color and flavor.) Put in about a pound of white fish fillets - I used basa - and pulse to a coarse grind. Pulse in about 3T of flour and 1T of cornstarch. Drop by spoonfuls into water or broth at a very light boil, cook about 5-10 minutes. Before serving, I glazed them with soy sauce and mirin.

The top layer is dessert - crackers, brie and grapes.

Weekend treat - Osaka style okonomiyaki. I used this recipe but divided in three for a single okonomiyaki using 1 egg. I added diced shrimp and ham to the batter, and used bacon, which is easier for me to find than pork belly. A Japanese person might find the smoky flavor overpowering, but like most of America, I love the taste of bacon.Okonomiyaki is no harder to make than a pancake, it just has a lot of ingredients. Nagaimo (mountain yam) can be found in Asian markets. It’s expensive but you don’t need a lot - it also is an important ingredient in another delicious recipe, ganmodoki (tofu fritters) so a small piece (around 8 oz) is a good investment.Like any pancake, this is easiest to maneuver and flip on a griddle rather than in a pan. Use two spatulas.And between the Osaka version and the Hiroshima version, which is a layered crepe adding noodles and a fried egg, I much prefer this one. The Hiroshima version is way too much for me.

Weekend treat - Osaka style okonomiyaki. I used this recipe but divided in three for a single okonomiyaki using 1 egg. I added diced shrimp and ham to the batter, and used bacon, which is easier for me to find than pork belly. A Japanese person might find the smoky flavor overpowering, but like most of America, I love the taste of bacon.

Okonomiyaki is no harder to make than a pancake, it just has a lot of ingredients. Nagaimo (mountain yam) can be found in Asian markets. It’s expensive but you don’t need a lot - it also is an important ingredient in another delicious recipe, ganmodoki (tofu fritters) so a small piece (around 8 oz) is a good investment.

Like any pancake, this is easiest to maneuver and flip on a griddle rather than in a pan. Use two spatulas.

And between the Osaka version and the Hiroshima version, which is a layered crepe adding noodles and a fried egg, I much prefer this one. The Hiroshima version is way too much for me.